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by John McKeon

Pub Date: June 14th, 1991
ISBN: 0-8027-1146-4
Publisher: Walker

In an amateurish first novel about a pair of amateur detectives, the Acting President of the US plays the latest in high-tech, dirty campaign tricks on his high-minded electoral opponent, whose aide has to clean up the mess in the few days left before the election. The smear job pulled on the ambitious but upright Senator Gillian makes Watergate look like cherry bombs in the toilet. Making their approach through New York Times reporter Mitch Rydell, shadowy neo-Nazis claim to have proof of ties between their group and the liberal senator. Rydell will buy the story if the old friend who brought the news to him comes through with journalistically sound documentation of the charge. The proof never arrives, the friend mysteriously dies, Rydell backs off, and it is up to a malicious TV reporter to make the charge of crypto-fascism in the middle of the first nationally televised debate between Gillian and Acting President Erhardt, the zillionaire former electronics mogul who ascended to the throne when the President went into a coma. Gillian's campaign aide Laura Madison, who hopes to be presidential press secretary, gets the order to drop everything and trace the dirty tricks to their source—a messy job that gets messier when Laura and Mitch sit up to watch the news on cable and then see a fake photo of Gillian with his arm around a supposedly dead Nazi on an ethnic, evangelical cable channel. The undead Nazi quickly pops up to say it's all nonsense before he too dies a mysterious and final death. The deeper the frightened journalism majors dig, the worse everything looks.... Nancy Drew and The Case of the Mysterious Character Assassination.